The Day I Became an App Developer

Easier Creation of Basic Apps Raises the Challenge of Search and Discovery


Recently I attended the BlackBerry Jam developer conference in Amsterdam. This event saw over 1,000 of the top BlackBerry developers in Europe getting together to learn about the new BlackBerry 10 platform and tools.

If I'm honest I had pretty low expectations for the event. I have no programming experience and when I arrived there was certainly no question I was overdressed for a gathering of software developers. However, things turned out a little differently than I had expected. I never thought I'd leave Amsterdam having written and published an app — but that's just what happened.

During the event I had the good fortune to meet a small UK company called Mippin, which has developed a set of developer tools for people like me. These make it possible to create simple apps for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone as well as Web apps using HMTL5.

In the case of BlackBerry, Mippin has put together the BlackBerry App Generator. It's not the first of such tools: Mippin helped Nokia created the Ovi App Wizard some years ago, and this has morphed into Xpress Web App Builder, which makes it possible to create Nokia Series 40 apps.

Mippin's representatives in Amsterdam challenged me to create my first app. At first I was sceptical, but as someone who likes a challenge and believes it's important to actually try things out rather than just write about them, I decided to give it a go. To my amazement within 10 minutes I already had a basic application created and within half an hour I'd polished up the app and it was ready to publish.

Now I should mention that I was able to draw on the fact that at CCS Insight we use some standard Web services and platforms: RSS, Flickr for photos and YouTube for video. This made the creation process easier, and I certainly don't want to compare my efforts to work done by the very talented developers creating amazing and highly complex applications.

Nevertheless, the CCS Insight BlackBerry app performs exactly what is asked of it, and based on the feedback we've had from several people so far, it's a useful addition to people's mobile devices. It goes much further than a simple Web app, as it exploits libraries offered with BlackBerry 10 through the Cascades framework, providing a menu option and the ability to share content via e-mail, social networks or the BlackBerry Messenger service.

ccs_bb_app

For me, it's an example of how app development has been democratised. A decade ago you probably would have needed a computer science degree to build an app like this. Now it only takes a few clicks on a Web site (plus some very clever software behind that site), allowing virtually anyone to create an app.

So what does this mean? We expect about 900 million smartphones to be sold in 2013, and that's in addition to the 1 billion that are already in people's pockets. The smartphone is the PC of our generation, and one of the most likely ways people will access the Internet. Every business will need an app, and it seems there's no longer an excuse not to have one.

But creating an app and bringing it to people's attention are two different things. The challenge has moved from basic development to search and discovery within app stores. If it's now that easy to create a simple app, how on earth are people going to find them all?

If you would like to download the CCS Insight app for BlackBerry devices, you can find it at
http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/23065872
It works on the new BlackBerry Z10 as well as most other BlackBerry devices.

Find CCS Insight's latest research about BlackBerry here:
http://hotline.ccsinsight.com/article/BlackBerry_Makes_Fresh_Start_on_a_Long_Hard_Road

This entry was posted on February 8th, 2013 and is filed under Devices. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Posted By Ben Wood On February 8th, 2013


Comments
ron
- 2013-02-08 at 18:32
If your interested in making games as well there is a cool tool called construct 2. It makes html5 games and can spit out files that can be packaged for the various platforms. Blackberry is currently working on getting it to work with bb10. But as of right now you can make it for everyother platform. Its very powerful. Check it out at scirra.com
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Science fiction becomes reality as @nuTonomy self-driving taxi hits Singapore streets https://t.co/qlj8eVPyqT
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @kestermann: EE is not the first operator to strike a deal to offer Apple Music. Telstra and T-Mobile USA have already done so. https://…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
RT @microscooters: “The details are not the details. They make the design.” –Charles Eames https://t.co/mymPj0pF6l
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
@twitter , @facebook going head to head for a seriously social Olympics. https://t.co/mUyfutFqAx, https://t.co/gq5muXlckp. Big deal for both
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
RT @tim: EU ruling against Ireland over its multibillon-dollar tax deal with Apple expected next week - @ArthurBeesley scoop https://t.co/i…
Follow Geoff
Nicholas McQuire
Apple keeps threat protection firms at bay bc they expose weaknesses. A serious case where they do them a big favour https://t.co/zvybLzshr2
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Latest move by @EE underlines importance of content in order to differentiate #4G #LTE network over rivals. Expect more music/TV/video deals
Follow Paolo
Marina Koytcheva
Something to think about. UK economy can't claim big exposure to tech. Political events from last month don't help https://t.co/ctO3y9zQvT
Follow Marina
Kester Mann
RT @benwood: Impressed with how easy it is to keep track of T-Mobile data plan on iPad. Invaluable when travelling in US. https://t.co/xpW3…
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
@BillBailey Hey Bill, here's interactive 360 image from yesterday's @OfficialRandL show! :) https://t.co/bZ6R0ePPUI https://t.co/5jFUP1MnlL
Follow George
Rebecca Morley
Brexit's Effects on Short-Term Market Forecasts https://t.co/C8I4gjZvZS
Follow Rebecca
Katie Taylor
A future of mobile-centric healthcare could save lives https://t.co/x1phTH7f4v
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Johnny Cab Comes to Singapore Autonomous Taxis Are Going Live The classic science ficti... Read more
Blog Post
Nokia's Closing Window of Opportunity In India, the Nokia Brand Still Has Some Value With expecta... Read more
Blog Post
Artificial Intelligence Takes to the Streets Swiss Postal Service Tests Robotic Mail Delivery This week,... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
UK Wearables Sales to Reach Five Million Units in 2016 1.7 million fitness trackers to be sold this year ... Read more
More news